Topic 3 - Energy distribution

In Topic 3, KIT researchers investigate the distribution of energy on the basis of different energy carriers. The focus is on electrical energy transmission, but work is also being done on alternative methods such as the transport of liquid or compressed hydrogen in pipelines.

The scope of the energy networks under consideration covers the entire range from localized (island) grids to international and intercontinental transport and exchange of energy. The efficient and reliable operation of these grids is essential for the successful implementation of the Energy Transition. In addition, the sustainable design and operation of energy grids and resilience to disturbances are also becoming increasingly important.

In the future, the power grid as the backbone of energy supply will be characterized by an even further increase in temporal and spatial decoupling between generators and loads. This decentralization of power generation will require meshed power grids in which the generation, conversion and storage of electrical energy will be integrated directly into the low-, medium- and high-voltage grids via power electronics. In addition, grids will need to transport much larger amounts of energy to meet the energy needs of an increasingly "All Electric Society" based on volatile energy sources.

In addition to grid stability, the operating equipment used must ensure reliable and cost-effective operation of the grids. For the power converters, this results in new requirements with regard to frequency and voltage stability, black start capability, and other grid services. In addition to the existing AC grids, DC grids at all voltage levels will play an increasingly important role in the structure of the future power grid. Currently, DC technology is only used on a significant scale for point-to-point connections (HVDC), where large amounts of electrical energy are transported over long distances. However, due to the efficiency advantages, further applications in the low and medium voltage range are to be expected.